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Lets talk about future of spyware!


Martin Zugec
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I am preparing article about future of spyware and I would like to hear your opinions. It really counts :)

I think we will meet more companies that will tried to looks like "user friendly", or we can call them spyware companies with "human face". They will act like commercial advertisement/marketing companies - similar to 180Solutions this days, which have more than 250 employees and almost 50 milion $ income.

Also we will find out that signature based protection isnt enough - next generation solutions will be similar to Giant/MS and Sunbelt agents. Probably integrated to other technologies - like AskStrider/Gatekeeper from Microsoft or SAFER.

Next will be changing the "output" of spyware products - instead of using internet-based applications (Internet Explorer), they will try to find another ways to advertise - ideal example is changing users mail signatures or using network printers for distributing advertisements.

What do YOU think?

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Here's another interesting point: Initially the large antivirus companies were adament in respect to keeping antivirus and antispyware products separate--they weren't intersted in handling spyware.

Presently, Symantec and McAfee (the big 2) have released their first versions of antivirus integrated with antispyware removal. Prior to that these companies only detected spyware.

Gartner group recommends that businesses use a stop-gap solution presently to handle spyware. Gartner says that your long-term solution will be offered by antivirus vendors.

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Of course I must agree :) Dont forget Computer Associates - they have eTrust AND PestPatrol, but they are planning to integrate this two solutions into one package.

Also codename Atlanta from Microsoft, which is antivirus + antispyware seems to follow this trend.

BTW on McAfee Most list first two places keep spyware

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  • 2 weeks later...

The way I see it, one of two things will happen:

1. Hopefully it will become illegal...in present day it's not. Then you would see it dwindle to nothing except a few rouges, who would probably stop one day...money leaves a paper trail after all.

2. The industry will learn to 'accept' it and develop a whole new working model to deal with the spyware threat...that means more antispyware products and services, which means more money out of pocket to opperate a computer. Everyone will continue to get rich (Even support people like me, cause I get paid to fix spyware, so technically I get money from it too!) off poor consumers...a shame.

That's not a real in depth look, but just imagine the second. You'll see ever growing advances that are probably nothing more than a shame to protect you...AOL Super Spyware Protection service (Only an extra $5 a month!) and Longhorn Security Edition ($100 upgrade price!). Of course those are fake, but you get the idea.

And don't forget little old Apple...they will first see a rise in user base, and then they'll start getting hit by spyware too. Then you'll need to develop new tools to fight the cause on a BSD based system...can't be cheap!

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Hopefully it'll be illegalized like it should be, but I wouldn't count on it. We'll just start seeing more and more invasive spyware. Things that literally spy through your webcam, re-write your boot sector, and all those other things that would be criminal acts if they weren't being done by advertising programs. The difference between spyware and viruses will become minimal as they start spreading through methods like security exploits (think Blaster) and email attatchments. Eventually, because of its ever-growing user base, the very structure of the Internet won't be enough to handle all its users with spyware hogging up so many resources.

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Ummm, I don't know what it is but two posts up that link is kinda suspicious...as is the post...and the poster...I opened it in firefox and it's a download, but named just "kwl1vly8" so I'm calling bul*****! And the homepage is a joke it looks like too...ironic huh?

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spyware/adware is a huge annoyance. initially used to log your data, now its expanded on generating revenue, flood you with popups and more spyware/adware installs on top of that forcing users to either put up with it or get it removed/repaired. there should be a law in place to ban these usages of it. Geniune non-invasive ad's should be the only thing let in, eg Google adsense. Spyware/adware target vulernable users with limited computer experence. Which means it equals easy revenue, thats why some programmers place it in there so called "freeware' programs. Its a joke one little program can generate so much wealth but i think its all dirty money, its not a legitimate way of making money, as your letting the 'ware to do it all for you.

I think its great loads of removal utilities are coming out, i myself run Microsoft Antispyware and Adaware together to form a great removal team :) Also, websites such as download.com did a great thing by removing all software related to spyware/adware programs. ALL websites like it should take that stance, make the makers of it think twice about there way of making money :D

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